This is not a topic I plan to touch upon often in this blog, or an audience I will be talking to directly, but I think the current situation in the US and the part that Christians around the world are taking on it, merits touching upon it. I commented in some forum regarding these issues and I now base this post on that comment.
I don’t see Jesus defending his faith like many Christians do today. He simply was, he showed truth, and those who had eyes to see, saw, those who were willing to go into the light, did.
This comes from what is being observed lately as part of the US contention for a president and from not so much the stance, but the attitude that many Christians take in relation to these issues. This of course happens in varying degrees in other countries and has happened for centuries all around the world; the present case in that country simply brings the topic for discussion.
It is pitiful not having atheists and agnostics being the main attackers of Christian stands or even Christian beliefs in general. Such people more often simply express their concerns for their society without having experienced the God their reactive mockers claim to have experienced—a God that showed us the way through Jesus, not by attack, but by mercy and authentic love.
What is pitiful is having Christians attacking such atheists and agnostics and entering into silly discussions to defend a faith. It would be less pitiful even to have atheists and agnostics being the main attackers of Christian stands or even Christian beliefs in general. Such factions more often simply express their concerns for their society without having experienced the God their reactive mockers claim to have experienced—a God that showed us the way through Jesus, not by attack, but by mercy and authentic love. How necessary is it really to create factions to defend a faith that claims not to pertain to this world and its affairs. Will this give anyone a taste of the God who taught his followers meekness and a heart set in heaven and not Earth? Or will it just make them look better as part of this worldly system as they try to show the world they are in the right?
Do not live to defend your faith or your morals against others, be strong enough to live them and let God do what he will while you remain with a willing heart. Isn’t this what the gospel is more about? Jesus was not recorded entering long heated theological discussions to prove He was the Son of God, he lived being the Son of God. Jesus didn’t create political movements for Roman law to change, he loved individual sinners into repentance.
The society of that time belonged to this world as, in this case, America belongs to this world and is limited to it. Through Jesus came a new society whose members have to be born again to join, but not be forced into it through laws. The society Jesus formed will never be a specific country in this age.
Now, if you believe that the biblical apparent disapproval of gay union (to cite a divisive example) means that such a thing could cause damages to the society you live in, it might be your duty at least with yourself not to support such things. Yet, as a follower of Christ, it is your duty not to viciously fight against the people who support them and to not be driven by emotional instead of spiritual reactions.
Your responsibility is to live with discernment and prayer, with humility and prudence. One of the worldly responsibilities of each person might be to work for the betterment of their society (and consider here that some people “outside the church” carry out this responsibility by promoting homosexual marriage, or by promoting women to have a choice over the unborn). Still, according to the life of the One they are supposed to follow, Christians participate in their worldly duties differently—with true meekness and love and not by the means of those of the world—having in mind that in the end (that is, if you believe the Bible) the world will still go wrong as is and has been its nature through towers and floods and kingdoms and crucifixions and holocausts and wars and all sorts of institutions–religious or not. If you follow God, then your ultimate fight is not for any government at hand to be God’s government. I think that a well-versed Christian will tell you such a thing will not happen, and hence, such a fight is worldly, not heavenly, especially if it is vicious.
God wants souls, not offices. Do not become of this world fighting for a religion or worse yet, to defend your beliefs (does God really need your defense, or do you just want yourself to be justified in the world’s eyes?). Instead, actively be God’s child. America has a problem? Yes, it is, after all, part of this “doomed world”. Yes, it has Christians who live as if they were part of that doomed world. It has Christians who are willing to draw swords to cut ears or wprse, just to see their own morals established. So are we going to be light amidst these problems or conform by being part of them? Study Christ, do you see him debating? Protesting against governments? Dictating how society should live? He dictated how God’s children should live. He cleansed the church, not society. He never showed the need to defend himself or his faith.